Scruton 'is last person who should be design tsar'

A claim that Sir Roger Scruton, the chairman of the government's new design commission, is 'the last person' who should lead such a body features in today's newspaper round-up.

Writing in the Guardian, architecture critic Rowan Moore says that "a figure as doctrinaire and divisive as Roger Scruton is the last person you want as a chairman of the new commission". Moore says that Scruton’s "knowledge of the built environment, and his views on it, have not changed much since 1979". He says that Scruton "has little room either for the generation of architects who have grown up since 1979", adding: "These practices are not bent on inflicting utopian visions on the world, but on creating the best possible places for people to live."

The Times (subscription) reports that conservation groups have urged the government to step in over plans for a zipwire tourist attraction in the Lake District. The proposed scheme was granted planning permission earlier this month, but the paper says that the Campaign to Protect Rural England is urging the government to call in the application in order to"review the risk to the UNESCO world heritage site".

The Guardian reports that more than two dozen coastal communities in England are to receive government regeneration funding "to preserve historical landmarks and help boost local economies". The paper says that "they include six heritage sites that have been classified as ‘at risk’ by Historic England, ranging from a former ice factory in Grimsby to a miners’ chapel in Cornwall and a historic artillery fort in Essex".

London’s Evening Standard reports that London mayor Sadiq Khan "has taken control of a planning application for a new hotel and conference centre near the museums of South Kensington". The paper says that Khan "used his legal powers to call in the proposed demolition of the 906-room Holiday Inn Kensington Forum in Cromwell Road and building of a huge complex including two towers of 30 and 21 storeys".

Plans to charge many motorists £9 a day to drive into the centre of Bath "are provoking anger and resentment", the Guardian reports. The paper says that "high levels of pollution, largely caused by topography – the city lies in a giant bowl – are forcing the council to act, but critics say the move will hit people struggling financially and force traffic out into areas just outside the zone".

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